Howard W. Robertson
||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (February 2015)|
Howard W. Robertson (born September 19, 1947) is an American poet and novelist.
Robertson was born in Eugene, Oregon. He married Margaret Collins on August 10, 1991, and has two daughters and two sons. He received a B.A. in Russian (1970) and an M.A. in Comparative Literature (1978) from the University of Oregon as well as a Master's in Library Science (1975) from the University of Southern California. He was the Slavic Catalog Librarian and Bibliographer at the University of Oregon Library during 1975-1993. He is a past President of the Lane Literary Guild. He has been a full-time poet since 1993.
Robertson was a long-haul truck driver in the American West during 1994-1995. He is a 2007 Jack Straw Writer with Jack Straw Productions in Seattle, Washington. Biographical information about Howard W. Robertson is included in an interview by American Book Award winner Matt Briggs, available in a podcast on the Jack Straw Productions website. Robertson read his poems at the 2007 Burning Word Festival. Robertson was the Poet-in-Residence at the Henry Art Gallery on the University of Washington campus in Seattle during April 2010. Robertson is part-Cherokee and gave a reading together with other Native American authors at Tsunami Books in Eugene, Oregon, during November, 2010. Eric Alan interviewed Howard W. Robertson on NPR-Living Large on April 18, 2013, and a recording of this interview is available online. Robertson gave a reading as part of the Third Saturday Reading Series at Tsunami Books in Eugene, Oregon, on April 20, 2013, and a video of this reading is available on YouTube. Howard W. Robertson was interviewed about his novel, Peculiar Pioneer, on KLCC FM on December 4, 2013, and a recording of this interview is available on the KLCC website. Together with his wife Margaret Robertson, he gave a joint reading about sustainability at Tsunami Books in Eugene, Oregon, on April 5, 2014, videos of which are available on YouTube. Howard W. Robertson read from his novel, Peculiar Pioneer, at the inaugural reading of the Lane Writers Reading Series in Eugene, Oregon, on September 28, 2014; and an article about this reading and about his novel appeared on page 31 of the Eugene Weekly on September 25, 2014: "Wagon Wheels and Woodstock," by Anna V. Smith.
Robertson defines poetry broadly as a very inclusive genre, referring to the archaic meaning of "poem": a made thing, ποίημα. He consequently considers each of his poems to be an ode, a fiction, an essay, an abstract painting, and a jazz improvisation. He describes his poetry as a mimesis of the streaming of Being through Nonbeing. He intends a continuous poetic flow that pauses at times but seldom stops, so that his line-breaks become purely visual and do not halt the forward progress of the poetic line when spoken. He means for his poetry to affirm with Aristotle that truth is most universally told through a blend of the fictional and the factual. He conceives each poem as an essay of existential discovery, an enterprising foray into the discursive wilderness. He maintains that his poetry portrays visually the drift and swirl of the things themselves and the interconnected chiaroscuro of shadowy essence and shimmering everydayness. He bases his work on the belief that reality never fails and that the phenomenal revelatory streaming of its representation in his poetry is authentic. He credits Heidegger, Whitman, Pushkin, Bashō, Cervantes, Montaigne, and Ovid as the major influences on his writing.
His first book of poems was titled to the fierce guard in the Assyrian Saloon and was published by Ahsahta Press at Boise State University in 1987. His second book of poems was titled Ode to certain interstates and Other Poems and was published by Clear Cut Press in 2003. His third book of poems was titled The Bricolage of Kotegaeshi and was published by The Backwaters Press in 2007. His fourth book of poems, The Gaian Odes, won the Sinclair Poetry Prize and was published by Evening Street Press in 2009. His fifth book of poems, Two Odes of Quiddity and Nil, was published in 2010 by Publication Studio. His sixth book of poems, Odes to the Ki of the Universe, was published in 2012 by Publication Studio. His seventh book of poems, The Green Force of Spring, was published in 2013 by Publication Studio. His eighth book of poems, Ode to Certain Interstates, was published in 2013 by Publication Studio. His ninth book of poems, Odes to the Ki of the Universe, 2nd ed. rev., was published in 2013 by Publication Studio. His novel, Peculiar Pioneer, was published in 2013 by Publication Studio.
List of publications
- Yellow Medicine Review (Fall 2013, pp. 117–132)
- Yellow Medicine Review (Spring 2011, pp. 69–82)
- Yellow Medicine Review (Spring 2010, pp. 178–184)
- Literal Latte: The Anthology (iUniverse, 2008, pp. 203–208)
- Where We Live Now (www.suddenly.org, 2008, pp. 393–400)
- Snow Monkey (November 2008, webpage)
- Jack Straw Writers Anthology (Jack Straw Productions, 2007, pp. 28–32)
- SLAB (issue 1, 2006, pp. 11–12)
- Square Lake (no. 5, spring 2004, pp. 52–53)
- The Clear Cut Future (Clear Cut Press, 2003, pp. 90–103)
- Tor House Newsletter (summer 2003, p. 3)
- Hipfish (April 2003, p. 31)
- Emily Dickinson Awards Anthology (Universities West Press, 2002, pp. 20–21)
- Nest (summer 2001, pp. 129–132)
- Literal Latte (v. 4, no. 2, November/December 1997, p. 16)
- Nimrod (v. 41, no. 1, fall/winter 1997, pp. 113–120)
- Fireweed (v. 8, no. 4, summer 1997, pp. 20–21; v. 7, no. 4, summer 1996, pp. 13–16; v. 7, no. 3, spring 1996, p. 45; v. 4, no. 2, January 1993, p. 33; and v. 1, no. 2, January 1990, pp. 17–20)
- The Ahsahta Anthology (Ahsahta Press, 1996, pp. 204–209)
- Pacifica (1996, p. 2; and 1995, pp. 3–4)
- Ergo! (1993, pp. 74–76)
- Croton Review (no. 6, 1983, p. 4)
- Yet Another Small Magazine (v. 2, no. 1, 1983, p. 5)
- Yellow Silk (no. 6, winter 1983, p. 5)
- Negative Capability (v. 2, no. 4, fall 1982, p. 84)
- Pinchpenny (v. 3, no. 2, April/May 1982, pp. 14–15)
- Assembling (no. 11, 1981; no. 8, 1978; and no. 7, 1977)
- Laughing Unicorn (v. 2, no. 1, 1980, p. 16)
- Glassworks (no. 3, 1978, pp. 47–49)
- Laughing Bear (no. 6, 1978, pp. 21–27; and no. 2/3, 1977, pp. 57–59)
- Interstate (no. 9, 1977, p. 89).
Robertson's poetry has won the Tor House Robinson Jeffers Prize in 2003, the Elizabeth R. Curry Poetry Prize at Slippery Rock University in 2006, the Sinclair Poetry Prize from Evening Street Press in 2009, and the Atlanta Review's International Merit Award in 2014. He has also won the Bumbershoot Writers-in-Performance Award in 1993, the Pacifica Award in 1995, and the Literal Latte Award in 1997.
- Grant Cogswell's February 3, 2005 review of Ode to certain interstates and Other Poems in The Stranger
- Novella Carpenter's August 11, 2004 review of Ode to certain interstates and Other Poems in metroactive
- International Who's Who in Poetry and Poet's Encyclopedia, p. 438
- "Cut to the Heart" by Barry Johnson (The Oregonian, February 22, 2004; pp. D7-D8)
- "Ode Writer Has New Book" by Paul Denison (The Register-Guard, March 28, 2004; p. G2).
- 2007 Jack Straw Writers Program - Allison Green
- Jack Straw Literary Podcasts
- Burning Word Festival 2007
- Henry Art Gallery
- Register Guard
- NPR-Living Large interview
- Tsunami Books' Third Saturday Reading Series on YouTube
- Peculiar Pioneer
- Sustainability Prose & Poetry Reading, part 1 on YouTube
- Sustainability Prose & Poetry Reading, part 2 on YouTube
- Eugene Weekly
- Howard W. Robertson (2007) "Fragments of a Manifesto" The Bricolage of Kotegaeshi. Backwater Press. pp. 89-91
- to the fierce guard in the Assyrian Saloon
- Ode to certain interstates and Other Poems
- The Bricolage of Kotegaeshi
- Sinclair Poetry Prize
- The Gaian Odes
- Two Odes of Quiddity and Nil
- Odes to the Ki of the Universe
- The Green Force of Spring
- Ode to Certain Interstates
- Odes to the Ki of the Universe, 2nd ed.
- Peculiar Pioneer
- Tor House Poetry Prize 2003
- Welcome to SlabLitMag.com - V2
- Sinclair Poetry Prize
- Atlanta Review
- Howard W. Roberton's website at the Authors Guild
- Howard W. Roberton listing in Poets & Writers directory
- Robertson's essay "What Is To Be Done Visually?" in Laughing Bear Newsletter